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You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?

Praise for You Are Everything:

“It’s the powerful, moving, and thought provoking YA read you need this fall.” – Hello Giggles

"If you're looking for a contemporary romance that's different from any other book you've ever read, this one is for you.” – Young Adult Books Central

“Karen Rivers uses the [second person] perspective to brilliant effect. Grounded firmly in the fragile consciousness of its teenage main character, Elyse Schmidt, the haunting, enigmatic narrative works so well that the only circumstance under which you will want to avoid reading it is if you are actually in flight… You take this harrowing yet beautiful journey with her. You see the pieces fall into place. Together, you figure it out.” —The Chicago Tribune

“This is good choice for those who enjoyed E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars or books with pieces that only fit together after a surprising ending. Fans of unreliable narrators and twist endings will clamor for this story of romance and survival.”
School Library Journal, starred review

“Philosophical readers will find much to love here; Rivers picks apart the nuances of friendship and romance, with their attendant loyalties and conflicts . . . [You Are the Everything] is an unusual and compelling novel that skillfully plays with narrative perspective.”
Bookliststarred review

“In a novel that challenges concepts of time and reality, Rivers examines wish fulfillment and subconscious defenses . . . [and] evokes the surreal quality of the world that Elyse sees.”
Publishers Weekly

“Well-written and emotionally resonant, this is an unusual and poignant story . . . that explores unfulfilled dreams and ideas of what might have been.”
Kirkus Reviews


You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers was a very interesting thought provoking story. Elyse Schmidt and Josh Harris are the only survivors of a plane crash. Both of their families pick up their lives and move to Wyoming to try to escape all of the media attention. This book dives straight into some really tough subjects. These characters have to deal with grief, loss, and guilt. Those are some hard things to deal with as a teenage.

One of the biggest things in this book though is that it is written in second person. Second person POV can be hard to read and get into sometimes. It does make the book a bit more difficult to read. Especially when it is also a dual narrative. I thought that Rivers did execute the book quite well. This book was definitely written to bring out emotion in you.

About the Author:

Karen Rivers is the author of twenty-one novels for children, teens, and adults, including the highly praised The Girl in the Well Is Me, All That Was, Before We Go Extinct and A Possibility of Whales. She lives in British Columbia, Canada. Find her online at or on Twitter @karenrivers.

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